Private Student Loan Programs

A private alternative loan is a non-federal loan obtained from a lender, such as a bank or credit union. These types of loans have variable interest rates, require a credit check, may require a credit-worthy co-signer if you have no credit history or have had credit problems in the past and do not provide the benefits of federal student loans. Students are advised to exhaust all possible Federal Student Aid options (including grants, loans and work-study) before pursuing a private alternative loan. If you have not filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you should do so at www.fafsa.gov and list our school code, 003470, so that we can determine your eligibility for Federal Student Aid (see Applying for Financial Aid). Whether you are borrowing a federal student loan or private alternative loan, you should never borrow more than you really need to cover direct costs (money paid to the school) or indirect costs (money spent on living expenses) associated with your attendance each school year.

Larger financial institutions offer private loan programs to further assist students who are unable to obtain sufficient Federal Student Aid in order to attend college. The following factors should be considered when selecting a lender for a private alternative loan:

  • Good borrower benefits
  • Good customer service
  • Personal prior business dealings with a lender for other consumer loans
  • Complaints, or lack thereof, to the State Attorney Generals Office or the Better Business Bureau
  •  If important to you, life of loan servicing (loan not sold to another lender or servicer)

Students are advised to compare their options and have a thorough understanding of private loan programs before applying. On February 14, 2010, "The Private Student Loan and Transparency Act" went into effect which requires that lenders obtain disclosure information and self-certification from borrowers prior to disbursement. As a result, you should plan on 2 to 4 weeks of processing time in order for you, the borrower, to comply with these new requirements. Keep in mind that these requirements are not mandated by the School of Mines, but by federal law.

The following list is provided for your information only and shows the private alternative loan programs our students have used over the past 3 academic years (2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013). This list is in alphabetical order and does not reflect any preference of one lender over another, nor is it an endorsement of any of the lenders/loan programs listed. You are encouraged to contact lenders and compare programs before selecting an alternative loan lender/program whether they appear on this list or not. For those we have been able to obtain so far, under each lender's loan program is a link to their Truth In Lending Act (TILA) disclosure. For those lenders without a disclosure link provided, you will receive this information from the lender as part of the application process.